When Illness Can Be a Blessing in Disguise
Not long ago I became ill with a horrible virus that included dizziness, nausea, vomiting, temperature, chills, weakness and loss of appetite.
I was in bed quite a bit for about 3 or 4 days, but the funny thing was that I actually enjoyed it! Someone told me they were praying for me to get better, which made me wonder why I hadn’t prayed myself that I would get better. I realised that I hadn’t because I was actually glad to be ill!
On the down side, it meant feeling very tired, not being able to do much and of course being and feeling sick which is horrible in itself.
But here are some of the blessings that came out of it:
- I had to rest. Usually I don’t have much time to rest, so I don’t. But this time I didn’t have much option, so as my husband said – I might as well enjoy it 🙂
- I got to see the caring side of my kids. My 5 year old came up to give me a hug because he didn’t want me to be lonely. My daughter promised to bring me breakfast in the morning so I could eat it in the bed (just an apple – but it was still nice!), and my son told everyone he thought they should leave me alone after they were in my room for a while because I might not feel like lots of noisy company!
- I lost weight – yay! I had been praying to lose weight, so there was an answer to prayer in a way that was quite effortless!
Many horrible things can actually be blessings in disguise. My husband quoted this the other day:
‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ 2 Cor 4:17,18
He said that God wants to work IN us through our affliction. He wants us to endure and persevere, not just run away from our trials.
I realise that my illness was nothing compared to what some people are going through, have gone through, or will go through. Amy Carmichael went through so much when she was bedridden with illness and pain for the last 20 years of her missionary life in India. Here is what she says, from that bed, about those verses above:
‘Notice the while of verse 18. It is only while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen, that the things which are seen can work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’
She also said this: ‘Always your Lord has been before you. Always He comes with a most heavenly understanding of what your heart most needs. And even if He has come in the same way before, He will not reproach you for forgetting. He will comfort you again, for He gives comfort as He gives wisdom, and upbraideth not.’
As my husband went on to say, we need to start asking, “What are You trying to teach me?” We need to look at what God might be doing that is unseen, like helping us to grow in spiritual gifts, or in character.
One thing God taught me is that He is still listening and answering my prayer, just maybe in different ways from what I had expected 🙂 And even if we can’t see the blessing, we can trust in our loving Father who has our lives in His hands and knows what is best.
Quotes taken from 'Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur' by Frank Houghton linking up to Tell Me A Story, Inspire Me Monday, What Joy is Mine and Soul Survival